New versus old: Student housing market in Eugene divided
Qingtian Shen returned home at midnight Sunday. He threw a Nike duffel bag in his nearly empty bedroom before jumping in the shower. A University of Oregon junior majoring in business, Shen is always on the road whenever the opportunity comes up. He spent last weekend working at a golf tournament in San Francisco.
Despite his on-the-move lifestyle, Shen has lived in the same apartment for three years since he first moved to Eugene, and nothing much has changed in his bedroom. Shen has a bed to sleep in, a table and a chair for studying.
“I don’t care how my apartment (looks) like,” he said. “Because I just don’t want to pay a lot for that.”
While Shen pursues a minimalist lifestyle at home, some UO students differ.
UO student Mohammed Albishri just signed a lease with the Hub, a brand new apartment complex located on Franklin Boulevard that is set to open next fall.
“It’s the best deal around,” Albishri said. “I couldn’t wait to live here.”
The Hub on campus provides students high-end living conditions with over 16,000-square-feet of world-class amenities, according to its website. The amenities include a rooftop deck with a heated pool, a spacious room with Bluetooth shower heads and a fitness complex. Rent prices range from $689 to $1,176 per month.
“Students are always looking for proximity,” Hub manager Becky Bates said. “But the amenities are definitely the biggest selling point. They want an all-in-one building.”
But Hub is only filled to 50 percent capacity.
Uncommon Apartments shares some things in common with Hub.
After eight months of operation, Uncommon offers similar amenities – with 40 percent of current tenants renewing their leases for next year, manager Joseph Tayne said.
According to Tayne, apartments like Uncommon are on top of the market. He said with students who are looking for the convenience when it comes to going to restaurants, classes and the nightlife scene, living near campus is the selling point.
Uncommon is nearly 75 percent filled, and is also raising its prices, according to Tayne.
As more high-end and close proximity apartments open up, older and more affordable apartments are losing their tenants. As a result, students are starting to see prices drop at some of the more established names such as Courtside, Skybox, Duck’s Village and even 13th and Olive.
Courtside and Skybox manager Hilary Rufi said the student housing market is, “extremely competitive in Eugene.” She said they have tried to approach this year differently, with lower rent prices to attract more students back to affordable housing.
UO student Derek Pan has lived in Duck’s Village since last fall. He said the apartment has changed its pricing a lot in the last four months.
“Laundry doesn’t cost as much as before,” Pan said. “And they now offer to pay half the utilities next year. They are really trying to get as many students to stay as they can, but that’s a good thing for me.”
Follow Tran Nguyen on Twitter @Tranngngn
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